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Some of the most iconic moments in cinematic history have been improvised performances. Anthony Hopkins cringe-worthy slurping sound and Jodie Foster’s reaction in “Silence Of the Lambs,” and Robert De Niro’s “You talkin’ to me?” scene in “Taxi Driver,” are all spontaneous moves made in the mind of the performers while “in the zone” of their characters. But improvisation is not as simple as being one step ahead of the director or screenwriter. Improvising is a game that is played between actors and a device used by filmmakers.
In a video essay from Now You See It, improv in movies and its techniques are explored. Improvisation is not the product, but the process of creating the moment audiences see on screen; whether it be a line of dialogue, camera shot, or reaction that is unrehearsed from a character. Improvisation in film, like live improv, can grip the audience’s attention or leave them confused.
Improve - Video - Essay - Explains - Actors
The best improve comes, as the video essay explains, when actors are in on the game. The rules of this game apply to how their characters will act or react given constraints of the role they are playing. While these restraints appear limiting on paper,...
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